Rainbow for One

I'm rather impressed with this single-skin one person tent which I've been testing for TGO Magazine.

It's called the Rainbow-1 and is made by Henry Shires, a teacher who lives in the USA and has discovered TarpTent.com, his cottage industry tent making business, is taking over his life. We used one of his prototype "Squal" designs, an A shape tent, on our 2002 Pacific Crest Trail hike, but this is the first of his transverse arch design.

I've written a full review for the magazine the basics are: Weight: 965g Price: $215 (pretty good with the current exchange rate) Dimensions: L=264cm W=117cm H=109cm

There are just six pegs and no guy lines and yet, provided the end points into the wind, it seems quite stable. “The beak”, the door and porch area, fastens with Velcro and the flaps can be staked out to create a small porch with just enough room to cook.

The Rainbow-1 looks roomy enough for two but performs best as a solo tent. Cunningly, the walls have a slightly larger ‘footprint’ than the bath-tub floor and the two are connected by bug-netting. Gravity draws condensation down the walls where it drips, not onto the floor, but through the netting into the ground. In summer, biting insects can’t get up through the gap into the tent, so you can seal yourself off from midges. There’s also a large, midge-proof vent at the top of the back wall ideally placed to expel warm, moist rising air.

I plan to use this in some mountain marathons this year so it'll be interesting to see how well it performs with two people inside.


Bertie.. said...

Hi Simon,

It's an interesting looking tent, and I was wondering whether it would be possible to substitute kayak paddles for the trekking poles - any thoughts? Cheers, Bertie..

Simon Willis said...

Hi Bertie

Good to hear from you.

The way the Rainbow is set up in these photos is without treking poles because I don't run with them. So it works perfectly well as a 'normal' tent.

Could it be used with paddles instead of poles? I'll get back to you on that, but the first problem I forsee is preventing the elastic, which loops around the handle and basket ofthe pole, from sliding along the paddle shaft. Perhaps if the elastic was replaced with a short prusick?

I can't see it going up with only paddles and no pegs, as they're needed to hold out the sides. So if you have to use pegs on the sides, may as well use them in the corners as well.

When I have time to test this I shall.